Monday, April 23, 2012

Will of Robert Blake, merchant at Bridgwater, National Archives PROB 11/80, Image reference 302/269, probated 26 Oct 1592

This is the will of Robert Blake son of Humphrey Blake (will probated 1559) and it is a non-cupative will. This is a known line in Somerset although the parentage of Humphrey is in doubt but my suspicion is that this Humphrey is a son of John Blake who is descendant of the Wiltshire Blake family. yDNA studies could prove that connection once we have individuals with a clear paper trail back to the Wiltshire Blake family and to Humphrey. Certainly there are known descendants of Humphrey although none have tested to my knowledge in the yDNA Blake group at FT DNA.

Mary Mason in her webpages has done extensive work on the Blake family (her own lines in particular) of Somerset. She also has a lot of information on her particular area of North Somerset which are most interesting.

I would love to have a copy of the Blake family tree at the Blake Museum at Bridgwater and will pursue acquiring that particular item. It does support the chart at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record office at least down to where the Blake line branches into Somerset and at that point there is some disagreement if the online published versions are correct on individual websites.

I am also building up entries in the Probate Index for the Guild of one name studies and have already submitted an excel file of over 540 line entries which includes only a small number of the wills that I have transcribed thus far. I continue to work on this particular resource and am up to over 350 line entries once again. I will submit as soon as I reach 500 lines of excel. I expect I will have several thousand lines by the time I have worked through all of my wills which I hope to do this year. We plan another trip to Kew next year and I will be photographing another whole set of Blake wills. There are 778 wills at the National Archives in total between the years 1487 and 1847. I have probably photographed about 200 of them thus far. But there are also many many wills in the Registry offices of the many counties of England where Blake members lived. At Hampshire alone there are 341 wills between 1510 and 1858. Wiltshire has 207 between 1538 and 1860. Somerset and Devon lost their originals in the bombing of Exeter during WWII but the indexes 1812 to 1858 show 9 wills at Somerset Record Office and abstracts/indexes I need to extract this number from Rev Frederick Brown's work and that of Sir Mervyn Medlycott both of which I have on fiche and have extracted Brown's abstracts already in an earlier blog. For Devon the Blake wills can be found on the Devon Genuki website from the various indexes available there and in total there are 226 but there are duplicates. I will gradually sift through all of those entries as I have a little information on the Blake family of Devon from my working on the parish records in the South Molton area. The task is enormous and that is just England. There is still Scotland, Wales and Ireland to look at for early wills and then Canada , the United States, Australia, South Africa and India. This will be an ongoing project to the end of my days but I shall archive everything that I have done with the Guild for another researcher to pick up some day in the future.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 22 Apr 2012
Source:  The National Archives PROB 11/80, Image Reference 302/269 (images by me)
Name of testator: Robert Blake, Merchant
Place: Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated: 11 Oct 1592, probated 26 Oct 1592
Read: Electronic file
Condition: smudges, 16th century, bold copy
[In margin] T  Roberti
[In margin] Blake

1    In the name of god amen The will nuncupative of Robert Blake of
2    Bridgewater in the countie of Somersett merchant  made the eleventhe daie
3    of October in the yeere of our lorde god one thousande five hundred ninetie and twoe
4    beinge sicke of bodie But of perfecte memorie as followethe viz [a vit] Beinge demanded
5    of Richarde Hodges in what manner he would dispose his landes and goodes he
6    answered in manner and forme followinge viz [a vit] Willi[a]m Blake my sonn shall
7    have my lands at Tuxwell in Radlett: Humphrie my sonn shall have my land
8    at Puriton and Crandon and Humphrey my sonn is and shal[l ]be my Executor
9    Witnesses Richarde Hodges, Leonarde Crosse and others

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